Monday, January 31, 2011

I don't get it

I don't pretend to understand modern politics and positioning. Give me the ancient world any day! But, I have to agree with this astute Canadian blogger on Egypt:

All the United States can say is the corrupt autocratic leader needs to deliver on concrete reforms. Initially they couldn’t even utter the word democracy. Nor have they threatened to pull the 1.5 billion dollars of funding. 1.5 billion dollars they could probably using patching that 1.6 trillion dollar deficit they are running.

Al Jazeera is kicked out the country. Not CNN, not the BBC, not the CBC, but Al Jazeera. Is it perhaps because their hard hitting and honest reporting is more of a threat than western media? I don’t know for sure. Perhaps they just have more people on the ground and constitute an more viable threat to the government.

Egypt isn’t the only country uncomfortable with Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera’s channel isn’t available in most of the United States.

Has the west lost its place in championing human rights, free expression and democracy?

<idle musing>
I fear he is correct. Here's something I read over the weekend (I hope the formatting sticks). It describes the west only too well—and the U.S. especially:

“‘Woe to him who piles up stolen goods and makes himself wealthy by extortion!
How long must this go on?’
Will not your creditors suddenly arise?
Will they not wake up and make you tremble?
Then you will become their prey.

Because you have plundered many nations, the peoples who are left will plunder you.
For you have shed human blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.
“Woe to him who builds his house by unjust gain, setting his nest on high
to escape the clutches of ruin!
You have plotted the ruin of many peoples, shaming your own house and forfeiting your life.
The stones of the wall will cry out, and the beams of the woodwork will echo it.
“Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and establishes a town by injustice!
Has not the LORD Almighty determined that the people’s labor is only fuel for the fire, that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing?
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.—Hab. 2:6b-14 TNIV
</idle musing>

Friday, January 28, 2011

Read this and weep

Just read this article on genetically modified organisms (GMO):

The biotech industry and Organic Inc. are supremely conscious of the fact that North American consumers, like their European counterparts, are wary and suspicious of GMO foods. Even without a PhD, consumers understand you don't want your food safety or environmental sustainability decisions to be made by out-of-control chemical companies like Monsanto, Dow, or Dupont - the same people who brought you toxic pesticides, Agent Orange, PCBs, and now global warming. Industry leaders are acutely aware of the fact that every single industry or government poll over the last 16 years has shown that 85-95% of American consumers want mandatory labels on GMO foods. Why? So that we can avoid buying them. GMO foods have absolutely no benefits for consumers or the environment, only hazards. This is why Monsanto and their friends in the Bush, Clinton, and Obama administrations have prevented consumer GMO truth-in-labeling laws from getting a public discussion in Congress.

<idle musing>
Yep. That's why we grow as much of our own as possible. But, if GMO stuff is out there, it will produce super-weeds just like the overuse of antibiotics has produced super-viruses.

You know, if I weren't a Christian, I don't know that I would have much hope for this country. The dollar reigns. Hey, that sounds like Amos' indictment against Israel!
</idle musing>

Its just plain wrong

I received a $252 book today that was casebound, print-on-demand, with cheap quality paper. The binding was already starting to come apart! That is just plain wrong. It's bad enough charging $252 for a book, but to do it as a print-on-demand is insulting...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

random stuff

I just wanted everybody to know that my seed order shipped today from Johnny's! I'll be planting some stuff this weekend. Some will be inside as seedlings, but some will go in the hoop house for eating in early March (I hope!).

On a related note, we ate the last home grown potatoes this weekend. We'll have to plant double this year. I am now a firm believer in straw potatoes.

For those just tuning in, straw potatoes are regular seed potatoes that are placed on top of the ground and then covered with 3-6 inches of straw. I tried it last year for the first time with great success. Sure beats digging them! As an added boost, I set them on top of about 5 inches of leaf mold (partially decomposed leaves) and then added the straw. The leaves became a wonderful black dirt by year-end and fed the potatoes well.

Something doesn't ring true here...

I was looking through some book catalogs yesterday, deciding what to list, when I ran across a book that contained the assertion, "female homosexuality is never forbidden in the Bible." I've run across this several times in the last year or two, so it is not a one-time statement—and it is usually well-known scholars who are stating it.

Now, aside from whether or not homosexuality is condemned in the scriptures (I believe it is), this just strikes me as bad hermeneutics. Why? Well, would these same scholars claim that Paul only meant to include men when he used the word ἀδελφοὶ (adelphoi—brothers)? Of course not! The ancient world was sexist (by our standards); if they wanted to include both men and women, they used the masculine. (I'm old enough to remember when that was true in English, as well, but that is another issue altogether!)

It strikes me as more than a bit disingenuous to claim that the masculine is inclusive in certain situations, and then, when if fits your argument, to say that the feminine is not ever specifically named. Maybe it isn't conscious, but it does make me wonder if we aren't all fundamentalists at heart...

What do I mean by that? Well, when it is convenient, we use one hermeneutic—say an inclusive one. But, when something is dear to our hearts, we change over to a more literal, verbatim reading. What do you think?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Seen on Twitter

Who said Twitter is worthless? OK, so not worthless, but easily a time sink. Here's a great quotation:

"One Book is enough, but a thousand books is not too many!"— Martin Luther

<idle musing>
He's sooooo right!
<idle musing>

Monday, January 24, 2011

How does the garden grow?

I picked spinach and a carrot out of the hoophouse this weekend. The carrots aren't growing very much this time of year and I planted them a bit late. But, still it was a garden fresh carrot :) The spinach is getting a bit old and the leaves aren't growing back as well—but it is January, after all.

I placed my seed orders last Friday. This year I ordered from both Pinetree Garden Seeds and Johnny's Selected Seeds, both in Maine. Of course, the next day, we saw a book at Lowe's The Kitchen Garden that we bought. As I was looking through it yesterday, I saw something I got to try—sprouting broccoli, also known as non-heading broccoli. This isn't broccoli raab, but a true broccoli that bears throughout the winter. Johnny's has it, of course. But, my order is already placed. Oh well, maybe a later order.

In other news, over the last week or so, I put a shower in the downstairs bathroom. When we moved in, they had one of those hang from the ceiling surround curtains and a push over the spout shower. Because they smoked, it stunk, so we just took the whole thing out. We have a shower upstairs, so we just kept it as a tub. But, all along we had intended to put a real shower in there for guests. So, last week was the week. I cut through the plaster along the stud, put in the shower line, a new faucet, and a tub surround. Well, it wasn't that simple (is it ever?). There was no shutoff valve on either line, so the first thing I had to do is install those. And, the offset on the faucets was different, so I had to use a coping saw in a very small space to cut away the supports, and... If you ever owned an older house, you know what I'm talking about.

But, last night, I finished caulking everything and it looks pretty good. Actually, with the new curtain and shower curtain that Debbie picked out, it looks very good.

I think I'll plant some tomatoes, peppers, and broccoli this week. It should be warm enough in the hoophouse six weeks from now for them to grow...especially under the cold frames inside it. Maybe by then my lettuce and radishes will be ready for harvest...

Friday, January 21, 2011

A radical change

“As we have seen, on the one hand the NT texts are consistent in claiming that it is the God of the OT, the God of Jewish tradition, who sent Jesus, raised him from death, and exalted him to heavenly glory, and now demands that Jesus be reverenced. On the other hand, these same texts emphasize that in view of these things it is now no longer possible to speak adequately of 'God' without confessing Jesus' significance and, equally important, that an adequate obedience and devotion to 'God' now requires the inclusion of Jesus as recipient of reverence ad devotion with 'God.' So, the NT texts express a major reconfiguring of God-discourse, and a major reconfiguring of devotion to 'God' as well.”—God in New Testament Theology, pages 111-112

<idle musing>
That's the last quotation from the book. I wasn't sure when I started reading it if I would be able to excerpt from it; Hurtado's writing doesn't lend itself to excerpting very well. I hope that what I've posted whets your appetite for more and hasn't distorted what he is saying too badly.

I'm not sure what I will be excerpting next. I've just finished two business books, but I'm not sure how much of those I'll post. What do you want to see?
</idle musing>

Help out a scholar

John Anderson is looking for help! He wants more books and needs advise on what books to get. I know that most of you have very vocal opinions, so give him a hand. Of course, he'll buy them all from Eisenbrauns—won't you John? :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Nice thought from a new book

I was looking over forthcoming book today, The Land of Canaan and the Destiny of Israel, and ran across this wonderful set of lines:

Several rabbis emphasized that the Torah is not an exact reflection of God’s values. The following passage in y. Mak. 2.6 is illustrative:
שאלו לחכמה חוטא מהו ענשו? אמרה להם, “חטאים תרדף רעה” )משלי יג, כא(. שאלו
לנבואה, חוטא מהו ענשו? אמרה להם, “הנפש החוטאת היא תמות” )יח’ יח, ד(. שאלו לתורה,
חוטא מהו ענשו? אמרה להם, יביא אשם ויתכפר לו. שאלו לקב″ה, חוטא מהו ענשו? אמר להם,
יעשה תשובה ויתכפר לו.
They asked Wisdom, “What is the sinner’s punishment?” She said to them, “Evil pursues sinners” (Prov 13:21). They asked Prophecy, “What is the sinner’s punishment?” She said to them, “The soul that sins shall die” (Ezek 18:4). They asked Torah, “What is the sinner’s punishment?” She said to them, “Let him bring a guilt offering and be atoned.” They asked the Holy One, blessed be he, “What is the sinner’s punishment?” He said to them, “Let him repent and be atoned.”

This rabbinic text presents a scene in which a theological question (What is the punishment of the sinner?) is posed to the three biblical personifications: Wisdom, Prophecy, and Torah. After each personification offers its answer, usually with a biblical quotation, the question is then presented to God, who offers an answer not contemplated by the biblical personifications. God, the talmudic passage implies, cannot be fully captured in the biblical passages that speak of his ways. God’s transcendence always remains higher than the biblical theologies captured by the text. What is more, the different sections of the Bible (Wisdom, Prophets, Torah) present divergent approaches to the theological issue that is raised. It is thus acknowledged that the Bible is a theologically diverse collection of works that reflects various perspectives on central theological issues. No single biblical statement can therefore be taken as anything more than an incomplete and partial reflection of the biblical witness as a whole, which is itself an incomplete reflection of God’s ultimate truth.—The Land of Canaan and the Destiny of Israel, pages 386-387

<idle musing>
I really like this part: "No single biblical statement can therefore be taken as anything more than an incomplete and partial reflection of the biblical witness as a whole, which is itself an incomplete reflection of God’s ultimate truth." We can't put God in a box—not even a biblically sized one! As a friend of mine says, "God is a whole lot bigger and a whole lot more complicated than we think." And Amen to that!
</idle musing>

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

One of the ramifications

“Indeed, that 'God' had declared Jesus' high status meant more than a justification for reverencing him; it constituted a requirement to do so. This is probably the implication of the statement in Philippians 2:11 that the divinely intended universal acclamation of Jesus as 'Lord' was 'to the glory of God the Father.' This in turn means that any refusal of devotion to Jesus would amount to disobedience to 'God.'”—God in New Testament Theology, page 107

<idle musing>
Amen! Good preaching! Who says scholarship can't lead one to worship? This book certainly has led me to worship!
</idle musing>

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The triangular shape of the New Testament

No, not the physical codex! The God-discourse in it:

“...the sort of 'God'-discourse that we have in the NT did not arise from philosophical reflection it was not initiated as an intellectual exercise to address some problem of metaphysics or to stake out some novel position in the spectrum of religious thought of the day. Instead, the triadic contours of discourse about 'God' in the NT reflect the 'triangular' shape of early Christian religious experience in which 'God,' Jesus, and the Spirit featured as linked in the special way we have observed.

“I repeat that the triadic discourse about 'God' in the NT is not the developed trinitarian doctrine of subsequent centuries, but equally, I contend that the latter would not have developed without the 'God'-discourse and the devotional pattern that we find attested in the NT.”—God in New Testament Theology, page 102

<idle musing>
</idle musing>

Monday, January 17, 2011

Jesus, actually present

“The unique phrase, 'the Lord is the Spirit,' certainly striking and memorable, is indicative of a remarkably close link; but the larger context of Paul's references to the risen Jesus and the Spirit makes it clear that for Paul they are fully distinguishable and yet also intimately related. [Merhdad] Fatehi [WUNT 2/128] proposed that Paul's link of the Spirit and the risen Jesus should be understood as 'a dynamic identification,' the Spirit acting to communicate Jesus' presence, power, and glory to believers and Jesus in some real way 'actually present and active through the Spirit.' This seems to me to be a cogent characterization.”—God in New Testament Theology, page 92

<idle musing>
I like that!
</idle musing>

He's here!

The latest grandchild, that is. Some nice pictures can be seen here. That makes six, with one more on the way via Ryan and Emily :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

The binitarian shape of the NT

“...although Jesus is included uniquely in what we may call the 'devotional pattern' reflected in the NT writings, he is characteristically reverenced in connection with 'God.' Jesus is treated not as a second deity but as having a unique status with and from 'God.' This is unlike the pagan polytheistic pattern in which there are multiple deities, each with its own image, rites, sacred time, and often its own sacred space. Instead, in the early Christian circles reflected in the NT writings, the exclusivist worship of the one true God has this distinctive 'binitarian' shape, Jesus featuring uniquely along with 'God,' yet with a pronounced concern to assert a monotheistic stance and avoid multiplying deities.”—God in New Testament Theology, page 61

<idle musing>
This is a very important point that tends to get missed. The monotheistic emphasis is strong—but yet Jesus is worshiped as God! Hurtado has some very good stuff on this in his other books as well.
<idle musing>

Thursday, January 13, 2011


The Spirit

“ the NT 'God's' Spirit is much more prominently mentioned than in the OT or the texts of Second Temple Judaism. One reason for this is that the NT reflects the experience of early Christians who believed that they had been blessed with rich manifestations of 'God's' Spirit, evidenced in such phenomena as prophesying, healings, and glossolalia, as well as in powerful moral regeneration and the promotion of new loving relationships, especially among fellow believers. Earliest Christians believed that they were experiencing the fulfillment of biblical prophecies of an eschatological outpouring of 'God's' Spirit (e.g., Acts 2:14-33). So it is little wonder that in their religious discourse reference to the Spirit of 'God' features prominently.”—God in New Testament Theology, page 44

<idle musing>
Would that the church were experiencing the same intimacy today! Of course, it is possible, but we don't believe it is, so we don't experience least in the rationally oriented world of western christianity, that is.
</idle musing>

The tax rates

I rarely comment on political items on this blog. Not because I don't feel strongly about them, but because I am of the opinion that they tend to be more disruptive to Christian fellowship than helpful. But...I get seed catalogs from all over the place and love to drool over them. I don't usually order from most of them, but it's still fun.

One place I download the catalog and drool over is Fedco seeds. They are a co-operative in Maine. Anyway, this is from their current catalog:

Do you know that from 1954–1963 the marginal income tax rate for individuals in the top bracket was 91% and from 1965–1981 70%? These rates didn’t prevent our nation from enjoying its longest period of relative prosperity, in fact they aided and abetted that outcome. Now we hear dire forecasts from the Tea Party that President Obama’s modest proposal to restore the rate to a whopping 38.5% from its present 35% will cripple the economy even though it affects only our wealthiest 2%. He ought to raise it to 60%!

Change I can believe in?
• Redistribute our income through fair progressive taxation.
• Revamp global trade agreements to bring back our jobs.
• Rebuild our infrastructure to manufacture real goods.
• Revitalize our food system to de-centralize, re-localize and re-energize.
–CR Lawn, Sun. Oct. 31, 2010

<idle musing>
I agree! and now, back to our regularly scheduled programming...
</idle musing>

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's snowing!

OK. That has nothing to do with today's post, but I just thought I'd let everybody know that we are getting a nice bit of snow here. Yesterday was about 6 inches; I'm not sure what today has brought yet. It did make for interesting riding going home last night. If the wind had picked up, we could have had a very nice blizzard.

Now for today's thought:
“...we have in the NT numerous expressions of what seems to be a rather profoundly new view of 'God' in which Jesus is crucial and integral. Yet it also remains the case that typically NT authors can distinguish 'God' and Jesus. Jesus never displaces 'God' in the NT , and the two are never pictured as in tension or competition with each other. Moreover although Jesus is ascribed or is integrally involved in a number of 'God's' attributes and actions, from creation through eschatological redemption and judgment, this never means that 'God' fades or is diminished. In the NT, Jesus does not overwrite 'God,' and each is defined in relation to the other.”—God in New Testament Theology, page 44

<idle musing>
Which has some serious trinitarian ramifications...
</idle musing>

Monday, January 10, 2011

In all and through all

“...we can say that in the view attested in the NT, 'God' is so closely linked with Jesus and Jesus so closely linked with 'God' that one cannot adequately identify the one without reference to the other. Jesus is the one through whom 'God's' eschatological redemption is now bestowed and to be consummated. But this central significance of Jesus is also retrojected through time, especially to the origins of the world, with Jesus (the 'Logos' and 'Son') depicted as the agent through whom God created all things (1 Cor 8:6; Heb 1:2; John 1:1-3). So, practically all of God's previous actions and self-disclosures can be retroactively understood in light of Jesus.”—God in New Testament Theology, page 43

<idle musing>
That is still a radical thought...
</idle musing>

Thoughts on community care

I ride my bike to work everyday—ok, you know that; I've said it a thousand times. What you probably don't know is that there is another person who lives out our way who does it, too. He rides about 10 months of the year, taking the coldest days off.

Anyway, he and I usually ride to work at different times, so we rarely see each other. But, I saw him last Wednesday and we rode together for a mile or two. We have similar interests: he has a cold frame and grows greens through December; I have a greenhouse and try to grow year round. They have chickens; we don't, but we buy local eggs. We both prefer to grow as much as possible of what we eat. We both prefer to bike (duh!).

Anyway, I found out he works for one of the local churches here as a Community Care Pastor. Being too far from the institutional church, I naively asked if that meant he was in charge of the deacons. He said no, that he did the visitation at the hospital, took care of counseling, and helped people who were unemployed, and other things of that nature. He added that there was another pastor helping him.

Now, don't read this as a criticism of him! I'm sure he is doing a great job. It was obvious he loves what he does and takes it seriously. But, where is the church in all this? Doesn't the Bible call all Christians to do this stuff? I can understand having someone who directs it, oversees it, and trains people in it if the church is large. But, to do it all? Isn't that in some way cheating the body of Christ? And, isn't it asking for burnout of the one doing it?

Thought for the day

via Marti, our Operations Manager

Friday, January 07, 2011

Stuck in a rut, or still more about the gods

“...the human knowledge of this God advocated in the NT is to be exhibited primarily by participating in this relationship and not simply by ritual performance.

“This produces some striking differences with the larger Roman-era religious environment. To cite one often overlooked, it was in that setting a remarkable claim that 'God' loves humans. Indeed, many sophisticated pagans of the day would have regarded any such idea as ridiculous. It was certainly not a feature typical of the religious outlook of the time. In recorded prayer texts from the Roman period, various deities are praised for their power, their ordering of the world, their answers to prayers, and other attributes. Some philosophers did refer to human love for beauty, understood in ethical terms as identified with the 'good,' and so with 'god'; but the idea that the gods would love humans (as distinguished from the tales of erotic love for humans by the Greek gods) was not common. Yet any reader of the NT will note the ubiquity and frequency of assertions about the love of 'God.'”—God in New Testament Theology, page 37

<idle musing>
He's right; it is overlooked. I totally forget about it most of the time, but it is unique—especially if you exclude the erotic love of the gods (really just lust).
<idle musing>

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Access to God

“The God of the NT is not accessible primarily or more fully through speculative reason, contemplation of nature, feats of ascetical effort, or mystical prowess. For instance, Paul writes that, although the creation bears the marks of the power and divinity of 'God,' human perversity (which extends even to cognitive faculties) typically yields a distorted perception and response to these things (Rom 1:18-21). In short, humans readily see thing to fear or adore in nature, but the typical result is idolatry rather than a correct recognition of the one true God.”—God in New Testament Theology, page 35

<idle musing>
Not much has changed in 2000 years, has it?
<idle musing>

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

A very public dissent

“Moreover, faithful commitment to 'God' in the NT requires abandonment and refusal to participate in the worship of any other deity. This meant Christians absenting themselves from a variety of corporate occasions of religious ritual, for religion pervaded the the social and political scenes. So, conscientious Christian practice could amount to a significant severing of believers from the pervasive religious activities of the Roman world, which could entail serious tensions with family members, neighbors, friends and associates in business or employment, and also even with civic and political authorities. Elizabeth Castelli vividly captured the political significance of religious ritual in the Roman setting:

Sacrifice keeps the tenuous balance between the human world and the divine realm intact, assures that the dramatic vagaries of divine dissatisfaction will be held in check. In the Roman context, where sacrifice serves as a first line of defense in the preservation of political stability, the refusal to sacrifice or the perversion of the carefully balanced sacrificial relations produces threatening seismic fissures running underneath the foundations of society.

“The pervasively public nature of religion meant that Christian withdrawal from ritual events could not readily be hidden. Faith in 'God' in the NT was by no means simply a particular devotion to this deity or a belief that one held as a private religious opinion. The uniqueness of the NT 'God' was to be matched by an exclusivity in the devotional behavior of believers. Their devotion to 'God' required believers to disassociate or distance themselves from core activities of their cultures, especially the worship of the gods on whom the welfare of city and empire was thought to depend. That is, faith in the NT God involved both a 'cognitive dissonance,' and also an unavoidable social dissonance (which could, and as time went on, did involve sometimes severe dissonance with political authorities). As noted already, philosophers of the time toyed with various ideas about the gods with impunity (e.g., whether they were all one or whether some of them had been invented) in the cosy and safe settings of their elite circles. These were little more than thought experiments with little substance and of no major impact on the religious practice of these philosophers or of people more widely. Early Christian faith in 'God,' however, involved a much more robust 'atheism' in beliefs and religious practice!”—God in New Testament Theology, pages 30-31

<idle musing>
So much for private spirituality, eh? The life of a Christian should be at a dissonance with the surrounding culture. If it isn't then something is wrong...
</idle musing>

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Yes, we're still talking about the gods...

“All of this means that the 'God' of the NT is posited, not as one among others, or as one member of a divine genus, but as sui generis, uniquely and solely worthy of worship. In the NT, 'God' (ho theos) represents something categorically distinguished from the many deities of the Roman environment. Indeed, as illustrated by the Pauline passage that we have considered, all the other gods are to be regarded as invalid, spurious, and unworthy of worship. They are 'idols' (eidolon), a term with a distinctly pejorative connotation that emerged in ancient Jewish tradition and was appropriated also among earliest Christians. In short, faith in the NT 'God' requires a practical kind of disbelief in all other gods, or at least a radically negative and pejorative view of them and the worship given to them.”—God in New Testament Theology, pages 29-30

<idle musing>
This is good stuff. I can't recommend this book enough. As Augustine was told, "Tolle! Lege!" Pick it up and read it!
</idle musing>

Monday, January 03, 2011

And even more thoughts on the gods

“Along with devout Jews, however, earliest Christians typically distinguished themselves in taking a rather critical stance against devotion to the many deities of the time, insisting that there was only one true and living 'God' to whom alone worship was rightfully due. To be sure, early Christians (and their Jewish contemporaries) conceived of a diversity of spiritual and heavenly beings, some of whom they regarded very positively, typically as part of the entourage of the one God (e.g., angels). The 'monotheism' of ancient Christians and Jews was not primarily of typically expressed as a denial of the existence of any heavenly (or even divine) being other than the one God. Instead, their emphasis was that only the one God was the rightful recipient of worship, whether from them or from anyone else. That is, they believed that the one God held a universal right to exclusive worship and that the religious devotion offered to any other deity was an offense against the one God—'idolatry,' at best a tragic expression of ignorance and at worst the gravest of sins.”—God in New Testament Theology, page 28

<idle musing>
Glad to see a scholar of the standing of Hurtado agreeing with me :) Seriously, this is what I have been trying to express in my posts on the gods here and here. This is serious stuff that we need to think carefully about.
</idle musing>

Are we sure that's what we want?

I get many, many, many catalogs as a bookseller. The titles sometimes make me angry, sometimes make me laugh, sometimes I want to cry. But, every now and then, one makes me go, "Are you sure that's what you want?" Such was the case today. I received a catalog from STL Distribution which included Husbands, Wives, God: Introducing the Marriages of the Bible to Your Marriage.

Now, aside from the questionable hermeneutics, think of the marriages in the Bible. Which of those would you want to model your marriage after? Abraham and Sarah? Really? Have your wife call you brother...I don't think so. Isaac isn't any better. And, don't get me started on Jacob, to say nothing of Hosea and Gomer. Of course, those are old covenant marriages—how about the New Testament? Ananias and Sapphira? At least they agreed!

No, the Bible isn't about good marriages—or any marriages. It is about a God who became flesh and dwelt among us, died for us, and was resurrected that we might live a new life to his glory and praise through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us. Now, that is a story I can endorse whole-heartedly!